Summary: God has forgivn us now it is time to forgive ourselves.
The hardest person in the world to forgive….myself.
Last week we started a series of sermons that I call “About the F word.” We started with the subject of “Ultimate forgiveness.” I suggested that “Ultimate Forgiveness” is that the forgiveness that every person feels a need for but often we as individuals can’t quite grasp what it is that we want. Some people fill the need for ultimate satisfaction with earthly opportunities, work, entertainment and even immoral activities.
Generally, people are looking to solve a craving and until they renew their relationship with God they will just stay hungry, hungry for something.
However, to resolve that hunger all that was needed was to make a decision and one step toward God and God would close the gap.
If you missed the message last week and you would like to get a copy let Eric Willoughby know and he will work out getting you a tape of a CD of any message you may hear or miss hearing on Sunday morning.
This morning we are talking about forgiving someone that we know everything about. We have witnessed their actions and we even know the hidden thoughts and intentions. We know about their secret offences against people and sometimes against God Himself. We know that they often feel regrets and pain and often feel deep remorse for the things that they have done and said and even thought.
This morning we are talking about forgiving ourselves.
When I think about my need for forgiveness I connect the idea to baggage. You know when ever we go on a trip we always need to carry some basic stuff with us. There is always the need for our clothes and medicines. But how often do we carry stuff we really don’t need, extra clothes or perhaps extra shoes. When we travel on vacation maybe we carry some of our work with us.
What happens is we end up with extra weight that we end up carrying around…extra baggage that we feel that we have to deal with on our journey.
Last week was inclusive of pre and post Christian relationships with God. But today is about dealing with the spiritual baggage that we tend to load up with on our spiritual journey.
We all slip up on our spiritual journey which includes every moment we live on this earth as a Christian. That journey takes place in a fallen world and all to often we hit a pot-hole or make choices which take us off of the path that God intends us to follow. Sometimes we think we are making good decisions in our personal life, our relationships and jobs.
Somehow we don’t see the catch, the trap, and we end up picking up, a consequence. We don’t see the emotional traps that come with so many of the daily choices and end up loading us down with extra baggage for our journey. The baggage contains things that we feel that we can’t get rid of like, guilt, shame, or disappointments in our decisions. We can’t take what ever it is back so we are left carrying it as we have to live with our decisions.
If we knew about the consequences we probably would not have made the decision. Unfortunately, we don’t see it coming until it is too late and so many people carry around the baggage for the rest of their lives.
The majority of time we pickup unwanted baggage when we step outside of God’s will for our lives, when we settle for a life of our own choosing. The Bible describes a life centered on our choices and control as a life focused on sin. It is also a life that falls short of the best that God intends for you and me.
A lot of us are carrying around baggage that has built up along the way.
The solution, the only solution is forgiveness. Last week, we learned what forgiveness from God was like by looking at the parable of the Prodigal Son. How Jesus’ story explains that no matter what we have done, or how long we are gone or even how far we have run, we can always ask God for forgiveness.
When He forgives us we are lovingly embraced by God and our past will never be brought up again. It is completely forgiven.
But the problem we are talking about today isn’t forgiveness from God.
The problem we are talking about today is how we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. How we tend to carry baggage from our past around and never forgive ourselves. You see, forgiveness is real when it comes from God, but it doesn’t become real in my life until I learn how to forgive myself.
So the question is how do I forgive myself?